ACS Council Meeting

The Council of the American Chemical Society met in Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 from approximately 8:20 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom Salon E-H of the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel. There were seven items for council action and they are summarized below.

Elected Committees of Council

Council Policy Committee: Council voted to fill seven slots on the Council Policy Committee from fourteen nominees as follows: the four candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes, Harmon B. Abrahamson, Lissa A. Dulany, Sally B. Peters, and Andrea B. Twiss-Brooks were elected for the 2017-2019 term; one candidate, Martin D. Rudd, was elected for a 2017-2018 term; and two candidates, Karl S. Booksh and Ella L. Davis, were elected for a one-year term in 2017.

Committee on Nominations and Elections: Council voted to fill six slots on the Committee on Nominations and Elections from twelve nominees as follows: the five candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes, Lisa M. Balbes, Alan M. Ehrlich, Alan A, Hazari, Amber S. Hinkle, and Thomas H. Lane, were elected for the 2017-2019 term; and one candidate, Neil D. Jespersen, was elected for a one-year term in 2017.

Committee on Committees: Council voted to fill five slots on the Committee on Committees from ten nominees as follows: Dee Ann Casteel, D. Richard Cobb, Emilio X. Esposito, Wayne E. Jones, Jr., and Stephanie J. Watson, were elected for the 2017-2019 term.

Continuation of Select Committees

On the recommendation of the Committee on Committees, the council voted to approve the continuation of the ACS Committee on Analytical Reagents, and the Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors.

Change in Local Section Territory

On the recommendation of the Committee on Local Section Activities, the Council voted to approve a petition from the Permian Basin Local Section to annex the Texas counties of Pecos and Brewster, and the petition from the Upper Peninsula Local Section to annex seven unassigned counties in Michigan, and also reassign one Michigan county (Menominee) currently assigned to the Northwest Wisconsin Local Section.

Unemployed Members’ Dues Waiver

On the recommendation of the Committee on Membership Affairs, the council voted to approve a petition to amend the ACS Bylaws to extend the unemployed members’ dues waiver to allow Society members to remain as members without paying dues for a period of up to three years from the current period of two years (Bylaw XIII, Sec.3, k), subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors.

Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct

On the recommendation of the Committee on Economics and Professional Affairs, the council approved the proposed revisions of the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors.

Charter Bylaws

On the recommendation of the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (C&B), the council approved two proposed revisions to the Charter Bylaws templates: one for divisions in probationary status and one for new local sections. C&B also proposed two amendments for the ACS Bylaws for consideration: a petition for the removal of ACS officers and councilors, and a petition on the rights of Local Section and Division Affiliates. The first petition was referred to the Council Policy Committee and the second to the Committee on Membership Affairs, and several other committees, for their evaluation.

International Chemical Sciences Chapters

On the recommendation of the International Activities Committee, the council voted to approve their petitions to establish three new International Chemical Sciences Chapters in Greater Beijing (China National Capital Area), South Western China, and Iraq, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors.

Recognition of Service

Council members were recognized for their 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service on the ACS Council. Bonnie Lawlor, Councilor for the Division of Chemical Information (1992-2016), was appreciated for her 25 years of service on the ACS Council.

Special Discussion

Councilors were invited to share their thoughts on the proposed recommendations from the ACS Presidential Task Force on the U.S. Employment of Chemists. The task force has been examining all known influences that can impact employment in the chemical sciences in preparation for the report’s expected release later this year.

Reports of Society Committees and Committee on Science (highlights)

Budget and Finance (B&F)

The Society’s 2016 probable year-end budget projects a Net from Operations of $17.3 million. This is $3.9 million higher than the approved budget, but only $723,000 higher than 2015. Total revenues are projected to be $528.8 million, essentially on budget, and 3.3% higher than the prior year. Total expenses are projected at $511.5 million, which is 0.6% favorable to budget, and 3.3% higher than 2015. B&F considered several program funding requests for 2017, and the board subsequently approved funding for the Atlantic Basin Conference on Chemistry, the ChemIDP Program (see: https://chemidp.acs.org/node/532), and the International Student Chapter Program.

Education (SOCED)

SOCED is working with the Division of Education on a workshop proposal for the development of general chemistry performance expectations for submission to the National Science Foundation. The American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) includes more than 3,600 members, 88 of whom are K-12 teachers. High school programming at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education will be co-listed as an AACT track. The USA team won one gold medal, two silver medals, and one bronze medal (a highest score overall for the USA team) at the 2016 International Chemistry Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Science (ComSci)

ComSci is working to inform ACS members and policymakers on strengthening forensic science. The 2013 ACS policy statement on this issue is being revised for board consideration later this year. A symposium, “Forensics: the crossroads of science, policy, and justice,” was organized for the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia. Success stories of chemistry-related cross-sector collaboration on the important role of university-industry partnerships in accelerating innovation will inform a pilot session at the ACS Southwest Regional meeting in November. ComSci submitted an ACS nomination for the Presidential National Medal of Science in April.

Reports of Council Standing Committees (highlights)

Meetings and Expositions (M&E)

Total attendance at the Philadelphia Meeting as of Tuesday evening, August 23, was 12,800, with the breakdown as follows:

Attendees 7,437
Students 3,249
Exhibitors 1,181
Expo only 613
Guests 320
Total 12,800

Attendance at the Fall National Meetings since 2004 is as follows:

2004: Philadelphia, PA 14,025
2005: Washington, DC 13,148
2006: San Francisco, CA 15,714
2007: Boston, MA 15,554
2008: Philadelphia, PA 13,805
2009: Washington, DC 14,129
2010: Boston, MA 14,151
2011: Denver, CO 10,076
2012: Philadelphia, PA 13,251
2013: Indianapolis, IN 10,840
2014: San Francisco, CA 15,761
2015: Boston, MA 13,888
2016: Philadelphia, PA 12,800

As part of M&E’s sustainability plan, print copies of the program book for Philadelphia were significantly reduced: 1,274 print copies were sold; the mobile app received 7004 transfers; and the online program received 2,653 transfers. For its Greener Meeting Program ACS was named a co-winner of the 2016 UFI Sustainable Development Award (see: http://www.ufi.org/awards/sustainable-development-award/), and one of the finalists for the 2016 RISE Award sponsored by Meeting Professional International. The Fall 2024 ACS National Meeting, originally planned for Philadelphia, PA, will be held in Denver, CO.

Divisional Activities (DAC)

DAC worked with selected divisions (Organic, Polymer, Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, and Environmental) to produce Presentations on Demand (POD) Shorts, two- to-three-minute video abstracts of presentations delivered at a national meeting. Collectively, they generated 264 presenters in Philadelphia, which will be posted along with the full-length POD in October. DAC will present a formula for allocating funding to the divisions for council approval at the 2017 ACS National Meeting in San Francisco.

Membership Affairs (MAC)

The Society continues to attract large numbers of new members, nearly 24,000 in 2015. However, as of December 31, 2015, the ACS membership stood at 156,876, which is a 0.96% loss from the prior year. Overall membership retention rate for 2015 was 84%. MAC did a pilot, offering 66% discount ($52 full member dues) to members residing in India. As of November 30, 2015, 888 new members from India have joined at the reduced dues rate. MAC approved a similar test to implement the World Bank Model ranking of discounts for countries of interest where ACS has an International Chapter.

Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA)

The report of the 2015 Survey of New Graduates in Chemistry and Related Fields will be released soon. The initial results show that the overall new graduate unemployment number increased slightly from 12.4% in 2014 to 13.0% in 2015. While below its peak of 14.9% in 2013, the number is high. Mass layoffs continue to be a concern. Recent responses in 2016 included a career day in collaboration with the Delaware Local Section in relation to the DuPont layoffs and work with the Portland Local Section to provide access to the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference for any member impacted by the Intel layoffs. There will be a pilot series of online career events from September through November.

Constitution and Bylaws (C&B)

Since January 2016, C&B certified eight sets of bylaws for Local Sections and one set of bylaws for a division. (The bylaws for the Division of Chemical Information were certified on August 4, 2016). C&B sent options to update bylaws to 30 local sections, most of whom have not updated their bylaws since 1977. The unit bylaws and the July 1, 2016 edition of the ACS Governing Documents (Bulletin 5) are posted at http://www.acs.org/bulletin5. There are two petitions for consideration: Petition on the Rights of Affiliates and Petition for Removal of Officers and Councilors. New petitions must be received by the Executive Director (bylaws@acs.org) by December 14, 2016 to be included in the Council agenda for the spring 2017 meeting in San Francisco.

Reports of Other Committees (highlights)

Younger Chemists (YCC)

YCC recognized three Local Sections: Northeastern, Nashville, and San Diego, with ChemLuminary Awards at the fall national meeting in Philadelphia. The most recent initiative, Catalyze the Vote, will be piloted this election season. Both ACS Presidential candidates will participate in a virtual town hall specifically for younger chemists. With support of N&E, YCC hopes this event will become an annual campaign.

Women Chemists (WCC)

WCC organized several events at the fall national meeting in Philadelphia: 1) WCC Merck Research Award Symposium, 2) WCC/Eli Lilly Travel Award (poster session), 3) a working breakfast with the ACS Board Committee on Grants and Awards and the ACS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board to increase the number and quality of nominations for ACS National Awards from underrepresented groups, 4) The Women in the Chemical Enterprise breakfast, 5) WCC Luncheon, and 6) the WCC Open Meeting/Just Cocktails reception. In 2017, WCC will be celebrating its 90th anniversary and revising its strategic plan. Suggestions can be sent to wcc@acs.org.

Senior Chemists (SCC)

SCC is encouraging the establishment of senior chemists groups within local sections. Ten mini-grants were provided in 2015 and the program was extended in 2016. SCC is planning a symposium “Golden age of industrial chemistry” in collaboration with the Division of History of Chemistry and YCC for the spring 2017 national meeting in San Francisco.

Public Relations and Communications (CPRC)

CPRC co-sponsored a symposium “Chemists and the Public: What Research Shows about Engagement and Communication,” held the second Wikipedia-Edit-a-thon workshop, and presented three ChemLuminary Awards at the fall national meeting in Philadelphia to: 1) Howard and Sally Peters, 2) Northeastern Local Section, and 3) Lehigh Valley Local Section.

Project SEED

Project SEED offers summer research opportunities for high school students from economically disadvantaged families. This summer, more than 425 high school students were placed in over 100 academic, governmental, and industrial laboratories to engage in hands-on research. SEED reviewed 16 scholarship applications and awarded three Ciba Specialty Chemicals Scholarships, each renewable for three years, for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 academic years.

Minority Affairs (CMA)

CMA sponsored or co-sponsored five symposia (a record number) aimed at diversity topics for the meeting theme “Of the People, By the People, for the People”. In collaboration with ComSci, CMA held a luncheon with a keynote speaker, Dr. Cato Laurencin, talking about “Success is what you leave behind: innovation and leadership focused on humanity”. CMA recognized the Richland Local Section with a ChemLuminary Award, and asked to consider a donation to the ACS Scholars Program to support minority undergraduates pursuing degrees in chemical sciences.

Ethics (ETHX)

The Division of Chemical Information will co-sponsor a symposium “The Write Thing to Do: Ethical Considerations in Authorship & the Assignment of Credit” in San Francisco.

Environmental Improvement (CEI)

CEI co-sponsored a session, “The debate: What role should we play in the biotechnology era?” in a two-day symposium intended to explore whether or not to propose a policy statement in this area. CEI also recognized Dallas Fort Worth and Midland Local Sections with ChemLuminary Awards.

Community Activities (CCA)

CCA facilitated hands-on activities at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. In 2017 the theme for the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day will be “Chemistry Helps Feed the World” and the theme for the National Chemistry Week will be “Chemistry Rocks!”

Chemical Safety (CCS)

CCS has established a new taskforce for Safety Education Guidelines (about 18 months ago), that has developed guidelines for high school teachers entitled “The ACS Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety in Secondary Education,” and the guidelines for faculty and staff entitled “ACS Guidelines for Chemical Safety Education in Academic Institutions”. The guidelines are organized around the concept of R.A.M.P. (Recognize the hazard, Assess the risk of the hazard, Minimize the risk of the hazard, and Prepare for emergencies). They also include student learning competencies in the area of chemical safety. CCA has also posted “Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratory”. New resources are posted at the CCS website.

Chemical Abstracts (CCAS)

CCAS is organizing a strategic planning meeting to re-establish the committee’s mission and set clear strategy and specific goals. Input from multiple stakeholders to identify ways in which CCAS can further serve Society members is invited by CCAS Chair, Wendy Cornell (cornell@us.ibm.com).

Analytical Reagents (CAR)

CAR released the eleventh edition of its book, Reagent Chemicals: Specifications and Procedures for Reagents and Standard-Grade Reference Materials, in June, 2016 (available in print through Oxford University Press; an electronic version is expected in early 2017).

Board of Directors Actions

On the recommendation of the Committee on Grants and Awards, the board voted to approve the Society’s nominees for the 2017 Perkin Medal, the 2017 National Science Board Public Service Award, and the 2017 Alan T. Waterman Award; and to approve the revised rescission procedures for the national awards and ACS Fellows designation.

On the recommendation of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, the board voted to approve the reappointment of editors-in-chief for two ACS journals.

On the recommendation of the Society Committee on Budget and Finance, the board voted to approve the advance member registration fee of $445 for national meetings in 2017 and also authorized several program funding requests.

Board Discussions

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from the Governance Agility Task Force, the Committee on Grants and Awards, the Committee on Planning, the Society Committee on Budget and Finance, and the ACS Governing Board for Publishing.

The board and the Council Policy Committee are creating a new taskforce that will look at the Society’s future governance needs. Per the board’s discussion, the chair’s report to Council provided additional details on a proposed Society-wide initiative to ensure an agile, efficient, and effective ACS. Additionally, the board is considering proposed changes to certain board committee duties and roles.

The board discussed the history, role, and contributions of its Standing Committee on Corporation Associates, and the responsibility of ACS to effectively capture the needs of industrial members and their corporations.

The presidents of Chemical Abstracts Service and the ACS Publications Division shared details on their financial performance, and editorial and new product development highlights.

Executive Director and CEO, Tom Connelly, and his direct reports updated the board on issues relating to human resources, ACS finances, and education.

The board heard reports from members of the Presidential Succession on their key priorities and activities as they relate to those of the board and for the purposes of coordinating their ongoing activities on behalf of the Society.

The Board’s Regular (Open) Session

The board held an open session which featured a discussion on “ACS National Meetings of the Future”. Board chair Pat Confalone opened the discussion by stating ACS national meetings are a key way that ACS fulfills its obligation to deliver scientific information, but they need to anticipate members’ future needs. Almost two dozen audience members came forward to offer comments, observations, and suggestions, prompted by a list of questions for the discussion.

Respectfully submitted, September 15, 2016
Svetlana Korolev, Councilor 2016
Charles Huber, Alternate Councilor 2015-17
Bonnie Lawlor, Councilor 2016-18